NFMLA Virtual Conversation | Navigating Larger Film Festivals with Your Short Film

March 08, 2024 05:00pm PST - 06:00pm PST

Join NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) for a conversation with filmmaker Blaine Morris about navigating larger film festivals with a short film! Blaine is an alum of NFMLA, having played her short film The Ciguapa at our 2023 InFocus: Latinx & Hispanic Cinema program, hosted in partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. More recently, Blaine produced the short film Border Hopper, which premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.

We will discuss how to navigate film festivals (large and small) with your short film, including submitting to larger festivals and how to maximize your potential for acceptance, how to make the most of your time when you are there, “do’s” and “don’ts” for filmmakers at festivals, and advice for emerging filmmakers. We will also discuss Blaine’s career and her experience as a multi hyphenate creative in the industry.

Blaine Morris Multihyphenate Filmmaker

About Blaine Morris:

Blaine Morris is a queer Latina multihyphenate filmmaker creating female-driven and queer genre films. Prior to graduating from Columbia University, she acted on MTV Skins, Master of None, and many more. She has directed, written, edited, and produced short films which premiered at Sundance, Slamdance, Austin Film Festival, Outfest, won a DGA Student Jury Award and more. She wrote, produced and starred in the psychological thriller feature film Dark Obsession featuring Mena Suvari and Danielle Harris now on Tubi. She assisted Academy Award nominated writer/director Charles Shyer for Netflix’s The Noel Diary and is associate producer on The Grotto directed by Joanna Gleason, winner of Best Narrative First Feature at Heartland International Film Festival. Blaine graduated USC as a MFA George Lucas Scholar in Film & TV Production and is a WIF mentee of “Good Trouble” showrunner Joanna Johnson, whom she shadowed on the season 4 finale. She works with Flmkr Co as a producer and Director of Film Acquisitions and is an adjunct professor in the MFA film program at Calstate LA. Currently, Morris is a 2024 Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow and is in development with Sonoro and IHeartRadio for a Latine folklore podcast.

Christopher Guerrero Filmmaker

About the Moderator:

Christopher, a Latinx filmmaker and writer from Selma, CA, discovered early on how stories could combat injustice, which led him to pursue cinema. After receiving his MFA from USC, he collaborated with major brands like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, GEICO, and Disney, and has directed celebrities such as The Rock, Wayne Brady, and Jack Black. Now a proud USC alumnus, Christopher teaches directing at his alma mater. His work is distinguished by its unique fusion of humor, horror, drama, and social consciousness. His films and screenplays have been featured at prestigious festivals like Slamdance, Austin Film Festival, Hollyshorts, and Santa Barbara, earning numerous accolades. His feature film script was recently awarded a $150,000 production fund by the Cordillera Film Festival. Christopher’s achievements include participation in the FREE THE WORKS Residence Program, AdAges ‘The List,’ AICP’s Mentorship Program, and the CDDP Directing Program. As a Latinx filmmaker, he is devoted to creating authentic narratives and promoting positive change through his work.


This panel will take place virtually over ZOOM. Ticket purchasers will receive a ZOOM link to this panel 2 hours before the published start time. If you don’t already have the ZOOM app, please make sure to download on your device before the panel start time.

If you purchase an All-Access Pass for our March Festival events prior to the date of this panel, you will also receive admission to this virtual panel, included as part of your pass.

If you are a current Annual Member of NFMLA, please email to receive a complimentary ticket to this panel. If you are not an Annual Member of NFMLA and would like to join, you can become a member here.